"Across the Universe" a big FU to the Yogi community?

I was listening to “Let it Be – Naked” and got the feeling when listening to “Across the Universe” that Lennon meant it to be a big FU to the meditation community. There was a smugness I don’t remember from my vinyl LP that seemed to come through.

I got a real “just sit there and do nothing, don’t let the fact that everything’s going to hell upset your little make believe world”

Have I just missed this for all these years?

I do not think the song is meant as an FU to TM.
I just listened to it, for a fresh point of view with your post in mind.
I still hear it as, I am not going to allow all that is wrong around me, upset my inner peace.


Sidebar, your honor.

I listened to the “Naked” CD a couple time and finally just filed it away. Those aren’t the songs I’ve been listening to for the past 30+ years, and I just can’t get into them. They sound unfinished to this ear.

And isn’t there something problematic about that? I don’t know, I had the same interpretation as the OP after I heard it, especially after I saw the Fiona Apple video when she covered the song and there’s all these riots going on around her while she listens to her headphones. I am not a big Beatles fan though.

Well, that’s rather the whole point of the CD.

As for “Across the Universe,” it was written before the Beatles went to India, so at that point Lennon had not yet soured on the Maharishi and his teachings. I think the lyrics are sincere.

I posted what I think John’s attitude was. It is not my own. I wished TM worked for me, but it does not.
As far as Fiona, She might have purposely taken an Ironic twist on the song for the video. This does not affect the Beatles intentions however.


I don’t think ‘AtU’ is a slam on TM.

wiki link:

It seems that Lennon’s disillusionment of the Maharishi only delayed the songs inclusion on an album.

Amen. The “naked” version of the album just doesn’t do anything extra for my ears. Several songs are worse especially ‘Let It Be’ naked which lacks one of George’s finest guitar leads heard in the original album. Said lead is also missing from the original single version of ‘Let It Be’ for that matter [the one heard on the blue greatest hits album].

song’s inclusion…rather

I’m trying to remember, but John was always a bit of a skeptic. I’m not sure he went to the Maharishi with a truly open mind – though he bought into it for a bit, his bitterness at what he saw as hypocrasy [not that I disagree mind you] struck him pretty hard, because he had moved from being a skeptic to a believer to a disillusioned ex-follower.

I don’t know, just thought someone might have some actual quotes or info here to shed light on the idea that Lennon thought it was a crock and being his usual bitter self.

Sidebar 1: I’ve been listening to “Naked” and have to say that the song that benefits the most is “Long and Winding Road” haven’t decided which one benefits the least. I listen to both now, as the mood strikes me.

Sidebar 2: and a follow up of my statement about his usual bitter self. I think that is what always strikes me as the most tragic thing about his murder. He had suffered for a good long time to find peace with himself and was finally able to come out with new material that represented a man mostly at peace with who he is and what his life had become. He became, finally, pro-active in making his own happiness and was able to give back in a more positive way, while still being able to look at things sideways and backwards. After Double Fantasy, I was hoping he might take up some writing (novels and such) again as I find his prose rather sparkling and inventive. I will forever blame he who’s name I will not mention for that.

You’re probably right, but certainly when he went to India he still thought there might be something to it. There’s the story about him insisting on being the one to ride in the Maharishi’s helicopter, because “I thought while we were up there he might slip me the answer.”

Taking account of what I’ve read in various sources (including the quote in my post above), I gathered that Lennon wrote the ‘AtU’ lyrics before his bitterness toward eastern mysticism became apparent.

Myself, I’ve held a spot in my heart for the version performed in the Let It Be documentary, with the slightly different final verse. “Naked” tended to go a bit further than what many people would have wanted, which was merely removal of the more annoying instances of Spectoring (e.g. the muzak choir on TLAWR)

I happen to like Let It Be… Naked quite a bit. It has a very folkish feel to me. Then again, I haven’t heard the original album.